This past Saturday, our church small group put together a yard sale to help us raise money for our adoption fund. If you're on Facebook, you probably saw some of my 1,000 posts about it!
To say that it was a success would be the biggest understatement ever.
Jason and I did a yard sale right after we moved into our house about 8 months ago. Our goal at the time was to get rid of old furniture and junk, and make a little extra cash to help us buy new furniture and junk. We made about $200.
When our small group asked us if we had an amount we'd like to raise with this yard sale, we said that if we could just make the same that we made at our last yard sale, we'd be happy. We were completely thrilled to make any extra money for Judah that we could - we would have been pleased with any amount.
Well, our expectations were wildly exceeded.
At the end of the day Saturday, we'd made $1,117. Then, after the yard sale was over, we made and additional $90 selling things on Mountain Brook Trading (thank you Facebook).
That means our grand total for the whole event was $1,207!!!
Typing that number literally brings me to tears.
Jason and I are so humbled by the love that has been poured out on us.
I think about how so many people already love my son, who may or may not even be born, and who is all the way on the other side of the planet. I think about how many people, friends, family, and complete strangers, care about him, and it takes my breath away.
For Jason and me, adoption is not a choice we made, it's a calling.
There's no way we could not adopt. We have known for years now that God was asking us to build our family through adoption, and we would living in miserable sin to disobey that command from Him.
Sometimes it feels a little bit lonely though. As I watch as many of my friends give birth to biological children, my heart aches to hold my own child, whom I have so much love for already. Sometimes I wish I could just know who is his or where he is, or if he's born, or if he's okay. Being an adoptive parent is hard. From the moment you submit the application to adopt, you waive your right to have control over your family. You waive your right to decide your timeline. You waive your right to know who, when, how, and where. It's a tough process from beginning to end and beyond. Even parenting and adoptive child brings up conversations and circumstances that would will never take place with biological children. If I'm transparent, I've struggled so much with this lately. It's been difficult to see friends who announced their pregnancy around the same time that we announced our adoption grow a cute little baby bump and plan for the not-so-distant arrival of their baby. I know our day will come, and I'm beyond exciting for each one of my friends, but there are so many moments when I long to touch my belly and feel the little life that I love already moving inside too.
But Saturday, as people poured into the driveway, I knew we were not alone.
When God places a calling on your life, He doesn't then walk away and forget about you. He carries you every step of the way, through the joyous excitement, and through the dry and weary valleys. He blesses the efforts you put forth out of faith. Most of all, He brings people alongside you to love you, care for you, and relieve some of the weight of the burdens that you're carrying.
Out of the $1,200 we made on Saturday, about 1/3 of it was solely donations. Friday night, I made a little information card about what we're doing and why. Along with that, I made a little donation jar. I though people may put some change in there, if anything at all.
The first donation came with a check from our friends' neighbor. I couldn't believe the generosity of people who had never even met Jason or me. The next donation came from a girl who was buying $8 worth of books. I handed her the info. card that I had laying beside the cash box, and told her what it was for. Then, she handed me $28 and said she'd be praying for us. After that, donations began pouring in, and along with them, stories, prayers, and more support than I could ever imagine. One woman walked up and asked what this was for. When I told her, she put $20 in the jar and said, "I tried to get pregnant for 10 years. God bless you guys for doing this." One woman stopped and prayed over me and the adoption process. Our UAB Friendship Partner from India brought his friends with him to shop and gave us a $100 donation. People that I knew and didn't know were just handing me money.
On top of all of that, everything we sold was donated to us by our small group and their friends and family, and our friends and family. Since we had a yard sale just 8 months ago, Jason and I didn't have a lot to sell ourselves. I am beyond thankful for the willingness of people to give. To give of their time, stuff, and money.
We are not alone.
I hope that when Judah is born (if he isn't already), he will know he's not alone too. There are hundreds of people in Birmingham, AL and beyond who love him dearly.
Thank you to everyone who came, helped, and donated. We know that the Lord will bless you for your obedience to care for the orphans. We love you all!